1968 24 Hours of Le Mans - Race

Race

The start was given at 15:00 by Fiat boss Gianni Agnelli.

The Porsches began in front. Jo Siffert took the lead on the fourth lap. Then, a litany of minor electric problems slowed the new Porsche 908s, and some were eventually disqualified as the new team management had not studied the rules about repairs properly. One of Wyer's cars had clutch failure at 17:00, the other had engine failure at 22:00. By midnight, Wyer had only one car still in race, but it was leading.

Henri Pescarolo had a stunning performance in the new Matra 630. The car started the race with mechanical problems, which sent it down to a 14th place. But Pescarolo drove the car to the second place under the rain, despite a windshield wiper failure and his teammate Johnny Servoz-Gavin refusing to drive the car in such conditions. However, during one of the last pitstops the car caught fire, and could not continue.

The victory went to the GT40 driven by Lucien Bianchi and Pedro Rodríguez. Porsche's best finisher was a private 2.2L Porsche 907 in second, followed by a works 908 in third, both just one lap behind the winning GT40. Alfa Romeo's performance was impressive with three cars finishing, the Nanni Galli/Ignazio Giunti T33 in fourth overall and winner of the 2.0L class. The two other followed as fifth and sixth.

Willy Mairesse suffered career-ending injuries in this race when his GT40 crashed on the first lap on the Mulsanne straight, and the accident eventually led to him committing suicide.

Read more about this topic:  1968 24 Hours Of Le Mans

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    One realises, with horror, that the race of men is almost extinct in Europe. Only Christ-like heroes and woman-worshipping Don Juans, and rabid equality-mongrels. The old, hardy, indomitable male is gone.
    —D.H. (David Herbert)

    Surely, then, the gods who are most interested in the human race preside over the Tavern, where especially men congregate.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    Wilful sterility is, from the standpoint of the nation, from the standpoint of the human race, the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement.... No man, no woman, can shirk the primary duties of life, whether for love of ease and pleasure, or for any other cause, and retain his or her self-respect.
    Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)